Friday, April 18, 2008


ACA declares war on syndicated crimes


The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) has declared war on syndicates that smuggle drugs, pirated video and digital compact discs, including pornographic items and women into the country. Its Director General, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan, said such crime may not exist without corruption or abuse of power by enforcement and private agencies as well as individuals. However, this does not mean that the ACA is pointing fingers at enforcement officers and personnel for practising negative activities. “We believe that the syndicated crimes today involve human trafficking and smuggling of drugs which would affect the community. This also includes illegally bringing in prohibited items such as pornographic VCDs and DVDs, as well as pirated ones. “Such crimes involve corruption and abuse of power. Destroying the environment also involves the two negative things regardless whether they are public, or private sector officers,” he told reporters after a dinner in conjunction with a bilateral meeting between the ACA and their Brunei counterparts here on Wednesday. The three-day meeting aims at formulating a move to enable bilateral cooperation to combat corruption. Also present were Brunei Corruption Agency Senior Assistant Director Ang Swee Kiang, ACA Investigation Director Datuk Shukri Abdull and Sabah ACA Director Latifah Mohd Yatim. Ahmad Said added that through the meeting, they would find a more effective way to improve investigation so that the offenders would not be able to escape when charged in court. “We are beefing up our intelligence as we believe there is a syndicated crime happening. If it does not exist, then how come there are many foreign girls brought into the country to carry out vice activities? “Something is not right. We will be working closely with the Immigration Department, Police, Customs, Rela and other enforcement agencies and get to the bottom of this matter,” he said. Asked on whether ACA is planning to use recording while baiting potential offenders, he said it was not practical as in some cases, the transactions were done at isolated places. “If the transaction is done in the car, how are we going to do it?” he asked. Meanwhile, Ang pointed out that they had been practising the method but on many occasions, the giver and taker were ahead of them. “Normally, they could smell us and would change their transaction venue immediately,” he said.